Welcome to the regional pages for Thames Valley. Full details of national and local events are available on our events pages.
Upcoming branch events
Thursday 9 November 2017
Join the branch at our November Lecture entitled, "Can stem cells mend a broken heart?"
Wednesday 31 January 2018
Young Biologist's Forum (More details to follow)
Members may also be interested in events in neighbouring branches listed in the regional events page
Visit the branch map to see where our members are. (Map dated May 2016).
Visit the reports section to find out about past events the branch have run.
Chair: Dr Ray Gibson CBiol FRSB
Vice-Chair: Dr Michael Keith-Lucas CBiol FRSB
Treasurer: Mr Stephen Lewis CBiol MRSB
Secretary: Mr John Haspineall CBiol FRSB
Jenny Atkins AMRSB, Dr Kerry Broom CBiol FSRB, Miss Margaret Cook CBiol FRSB, Dr John Grainger CBiol FRSB, Peter Jackson AMRSB, Ryan Morris AMRSB, Mrs Tessa Parkes MRSB
Non-members are very welcome at all open Thames Valley meetings and events. If you or anyone you know, would like to receive regular email notices of our programme, please get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the committee
Kerry Broom BSc DPhil CBiol FRSB
Kerry obtained a BSc at Brunel University in 1999 and a DPhil at Oxford University in 2004. Now a Principal Radiation Protection Scientist for Public Health England (formerly Health Protection Agency). Her job involves experimental research studies on the biological effects of non-ionising radiation. The research involves molecular biology techniques to study gene expression and immunohistochemistry to study the brain’s response to exposure to electromagnetic fields. She has supervised two PhD students jointly with the University of Oxford.
Kerry’s previous responsibilities have included scientific secretariat support to the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE). Kerry sat on the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Biological Effects Policy Advisory Group which advised on the health effects of electromagnetic fields until 2016 when the committee closed. For the past 20 years, Kerry has worked with schools as a STEM Ambassador in the Oxfordshire area. She joined the branch committee in 2007 and was elected to Fellowship of the Society in 2010.
Margaret Cook BSc CBiol FRSB
Margaret took a London external degree whilst working for the Medical Research Council (MRC) breeding inbred mice for cancer research. After a short time with a biological research organisation, she spent more than 20 years with Wyeth Laboratories engaged in general and reproductive toxicology. There followed two years at the Department of Health in the Toxicology and Environmental Health Division reviewing new submissions on sweeteners and other agents. Then she joined a contract research organisation where she established a toxicology facility evaluating preclinical studies and advised and monitored studies for other organisations. She was also responsible for quality assurance and undertook audits of investigator sites in the UK and Europe for compliance with good clinical practice (GCP). In retirement she acted as a consultant in quality assurance and toxicology in a freelance capacity.
Margaret became a member of the then IOB in 1959 and Fellow in 1986. She helped to found the Thames Valley branch in 1972, was branch secretary for more than 20 years and has served three times on the Council of the IOB. She was awarded the President's Medal in 2008.
Ray Gibson BSc PhD CBiol FRSB (Chair)
Ray gained his BSc in botany and PhD in fungal physiology from the University of Nottingham where he held both College and University teaching posts before moving to a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship on fungal viruses at Manchester University. In 1978 he joined a research group at the MOD Microbiological Research Establishment at Porton Down, Wiltshire, where he held a National Research & Development Corporation Senior Research Fellowship on the genetic manipulation of yeasts.
This led to a 25 years career with Cadbury Schweppes plc. First as a senior scientist at the PHLS Centre for applied Microbiology and Research, Porton Down, after which in 1985 he transferred to the company's Group Research Centre at the University of Reading, initially responsible for co-ordinating the Centre's research programme in biotechnology, microscopy and IT. In 1987 he became a founding director of Reading Scientific Services Ltd. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes and now Kraft Foods, RSSL provides scientific and technical services to the Food & Pharmaceutical Industries. Ray was its Business & Strategic Development Director until his retirement in 2005.
Ray joined the Institute of Biology in 1982 and served on the Biologist Editorial Board 1987-90. He joined the Thames Valley branch committee in 1986 and was its vice chairman from 1998-2012, when he became branch chairman. He was elected to Fellowship of the Society of Biology in 2009.
John Grainger BSc PhD CBiol FRSB
John came to the University of Reading in 1957 to study for a PhD in microbiology following a BSc in bacteriology at the University of Birmingham. This was followed by appointment to the academic staff at Reading and development of research programmes in environmental microbiology encompassing studies on soil, agricultural waste and municipal refuse. His career progressed to a Senior Lectureship and then to Head of Department.
An interest in promoting microbiology in schools led to the founding of the National Centre for Biotechnology Education (NCBE) at Reading and activities abroad including membership of the management committee of the European Initiative for Biotechnology Education (EIBE). He was awarded the Peter Wildy Prize for Education in Microbiology by the Society for General Microbiology (SGM) in 2002. Now retired, John is a Visiting Research Fellow at Reading and a member of the Executive Committee of the Friends of the University. His work for schools continues, principally through being Chairman of the Microbiology in Schools Advisory Committee (MiSAC).
He joined the then IOB in 1980, was elected to Fellowship in 1990, is a past chairman of the Thames Valley branch and has served on Council.
Stephen Lewis BSc MSc CBiol MRSB (Treasurer)
Stephen gained his qualifications in biochemistry at the University of Wales (BSc) and the University of London (MSc). After working in fermentation research for antibiotic production, he moved into the field of contamination control and sterility control of processes in the medical device, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. This involved design and operation of clean rooms and assessment and elimination of contamination of environments, materials, services, equipment and personnel activities. It also included close involvement in documentation to support Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), including control of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and validation of systems.
Stephen has been a member of the Society for more than 20 years. Before joining the branch committee and subsequently becoming treasurer, he was on the committee of the Parenteral Society (now the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Sciences Society) and also a member of its working party on standards for environmental contamination for processes and organiser of events including the Annual Conference and seminars.